Cut! Costume and the Cinema

August 20 – September 28, 2011

About the Exhibition

Heath Ledger as Giacomo Casanova, Casanova (2005)

Discover the glamour, luxury and artistry of cinematic fashion. Delight in the sumptuous fabrics, the lavish lace, skilled embroidery and unparalleled craftsmanship and creativity. Bask in the ambiance of big-screen cinema and the allure of famous film stars. An experience like no other awaits visitors to CUT! Costume and the Cinema.

On view for the first time in Canada, this exhibition reveals the integral role of costume design in creating unforgettable screen characters. "When actors put on those clothes that is when the character comes alive," says Nancy Lawson exhibition co-curator. More than 30 actors are represented from some 25 films which depict five centuries of history, drama and comedy. Some of the films represented include a refreshing take on the classic Cinderella fairy tale (Angela Houston Ever After); seventeenth century Virginia (Colin Farrell, The New World); the eighteenth-century England of the aristocracy (Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, The Duchess); the first voyage in the Pirates adventure trilogy (Johnny Depp, The Pirates of the Caribbean; Curse of the Black Pearl); the fantastic and opulent nineteenth-century Paris (Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera) the story of Peter Pan (Kate Winslet, Finding Neverland) and the new adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law Sherlock Holmes).

Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility (1995)Go ahead and squeal — these costumes have touched the very skin of stars such as Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman. In fact, the exhibition reads like a textile-based "who's who" of Hollywood — lanky Nicole Kidman next to tiny Renee Zellweger next to curvy Scarlett Johansson.

Cut! also allows the viewer to appreciate the fine details of costumes that often only appear fleetingly in the final film. The attention to detail in the research, design and creation of these film costumes crosses the line from craft to couture.

Fashion and film become fine art in this exciting exhibition. All 43 costumes were made by the renowned British costumer, Cosprop Ltd., and many have won major film awards for costume design, including the coveted Oscar™.

Above: Heath Ledger as Giacomo Casanova, Casanova (2005)
Right: Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility (1995)


After visiting the exhibition, check out some of the programs we’re offering that further explore the content featured in Cut! Costume and the Cinema:

In Conversation: Celebrity Worship Syndrome:
Tuesday September 20

Art for the Senses: Behind the Curtain
Saturday September 24

Daily activities for all ages in the Discovery Room! )


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Glenbow Shop

A selection of books currently available in the Glenbow Shop from feature exhibition: Cut! Costume and the Cinema.

Dressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume DesignDressed: A Century of Hollywood Costume Design

"Academy Award-nominated costume designer Deborah N. Landis showcases one hundred years of Hollywood’s most tantalizing costumes and the characters they helped bring to life."

592 pages. Full-colour and b&w photographs throughout.
By Deborah N. Landis.

Costume Design in the MoviesCostume Design in the Movies

" An Illustrated Guide to the Work of 157 Great Designers"
"Fascinating, comprehensive reference work provides biographical/career data for major American, British and French designers since 1909."

Soft cover.
176 pages. 177 illustrations.
By Elizabeth Leese.
Published by Dover.

100 Dresses 100 Dresses: The Costume Institute

"An irresistible look into more than 300 years of fashion through an exquisite collection of designer dresses. Here, for the first time ever, are 100 fabulous gowns from the permanent collection of the renowned Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, each of which is a reminder of the ways fashion reflects the broader culture that created it."

232 pages. 153 colour and 28 b&w illustrations.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Exhibits Development Group

Cut! Costume and the Cinema is presented by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, England


Sense and Sensibility (1995) image courtesy of Photofest


130 9th Ave S.E.
Calgary, AB T2G 0P3

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Thursday: 9am - 5pm
Friday: 9am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5pm
Sunday: 12pm - 5pm


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